The PBEye

Pro Bono As We See It
October 6, 2015

Eisai Kicks Off its Pro Bono Program

On September 18, Eisai Inc. launched its pro bono program with a Clinic in a Box® Program – Legal Audit and a session devoted to access to justice. Hosted at its headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, the launch coincided with a legal department-wide meeting and was attended by Executive Vice President and General Counsel Allen Waxman, attorneys, paralegals, patent specialists, administrators, and others from around the country. Engaging its legal department in pro bono legal services is a natural fit for Eisai, which prides itself on “a tradition of genuine concern for people.”

Eisai client meetingThe Clinic in a Box® Program – Legal Audit was co-hosted by CPBO and Day Pitney* and attended by local nonprofits invited by United Way of Northern New Jersey.  After a one-and-a-half hour training session covering governance, employment, intellectual property, tax, and real estate, the volunteers met in teams with their clients. The attending nonprofit clients provide a variety of critical services to the local community, including helping homeless families who are in need of shelter, food, and support. In response to a survey after the clinic, one client wrote: “Wonderful lawyers and kind, caring, humanitarians! Thanks to the management of Eisai for the support of this outreach to nonprofits. Excellent feedback and sincere interest in our mission. Thank you very much!”

The Eisai pro bono program is led by five dedicated individuals, who worked with the co-hosts for several months to plan the clinic and who were joined by several colleagues for a session on access to justice, hosted by CPBO. The session started with a poverty simulation, followed by presentations on the chasm in access to justice and the role of pro bono. To hear first-hand the impact pro bono can have on a client’s life,
participants watched the speech of Aimee Sherrod, an Air Force veteran who secured military benefits with pro Eisai access to justice photobono assistance. The session ended with a discussion of the options and opportunities available to in-house counsel and their department colleagues to utilize their skills and fulfill their professional responsibility to assist those unable to afford legal counsel.

The PBEye congratulates Eisai on this important step and looks forward to reporting on its future pro bono efforts! Those interested in reading more about in-house pro bono opportunities, including past CPBO Clinic in a Box® programs, should click here. To learn more about hosting a Clinic in a Box® program or about in-house pro bono, please contact CPBO Director Eve Runyon.

Eisai Group Photo

* denotes a Signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge®
denotes a Member of the Law Firm Pro Bono Project